Market News

Asia report: Bourses in the green at end of red October

31/10/2018 12:13

(Sharecast News) - Most markets in Asia ended a tough month on a high note on Wednesday, finishing October's last session in the green. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 2.16% at 21,920.46, as the yen weakened 0.11% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 113.25. The broader Topix was 2.15% higher at 1,646.12 in Tokyo. On the policy front, the Bank of Japan stood pat on monetary policy on Wednesday, but did take a knife to its price forecasts. Its short-term interest rate targets remained at -0.1%, with the central bank also promising to guide 10-year government bonds towards a yield of nil. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite rose 1.35% to 2,602.78, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite moved ahead 1.39% to 1,294.22. The positive moves in China came despite fresh manufacturing data missing forecasts, with the official purchasing managers' index for October coming in at 50.2. That was a fall from the 50.8 reported in September, and lower than then 50.6 economists had been widely anticipating. South Korea's Kospi was 0.74% higher at 2,029.69, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong managed to rise 1.6% to 24,979.69. Oil prices were mixed, with Brent crude last down 0.12% at $75.82 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate rising 0.12% to $66.26. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.43% to 5,830.30, with the hefty financials subindex rising 0.93%. Of the big four banks in Sydney, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group was the surprise, adding 1.5% even after it reported a 5% fall in its cash profit for the full financial year. Looking at the other sectors, energy was up 1.39% and the materials subindex added 0.19%. Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was up 1.2% at 8,752.31, led higher by outdoor clothing and equipment company Kathmandu, which surged 4.3% after a large institutional investor, First NZ Capital, upped its stake in the firm. Both of the down under dollars were weaker on the greenback, with the Aussie last 0ff 0.26% at AUD 1.4109, and the Kiwi retreating 0.35% to NZD 1.5312.

Investors should be aware that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and that the price of shares and other investments, may fall as well as rise and the amount realised may be less than the original sum invested.

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